Technology is transforming the world.
With progression comes disruption, and this is certainly true in accountancy. In fact, some estimate that 86% of accounting and tax tasks can be automated by software. So while software packages are making many compliance services more efficient, they are also reducing the number of billable hours for this work.
While the majority of accountants still focus their business on compliance, many are recognising the value in expanding or formalising their advisory offering.
This can both mitigate the impact of lost revenue from compliance and, more positively, provide exciting growth opportunities. It opens the door to higher value, more interesting work.
A good advisory offering will certainly distinguish you in the market place.
Tiers of accountancy advisory services
You know the kind of areas in which you can provide accountancy advisory services, from company se-up to merger and acquisition activity, and everything in between. So the question becomes: to what extent you are delivering advisory services? You may:
- Be informally providing advice as and when clients ask, acting as a helpful sounding board.
- Have an offering limited to performance advice, safeguarding the health of the business.
- Deliver strategic advice, including succession planning and risk management.
If you are operating in the first tier, you may not even be directly monetising your advice. Sure, you are cementing relationships with your client base, but the information you are providing is valuable and worth being paid for. This is exciting because there can be so much potential for you.
At level two and three, you are offering more formal services. They are a distinct source of revenue, but you may be able to optimise your services further – for both you and your clients.
Gearing up your accountancy advisory services
You are already busy, so expanding your advisory capacity takes a mindset change. There can be impediments, even when there is the prospect of greater profitability.
When you have overcome the mindset hurdle, there will be issues within your firm which you will have to consider to upscale your advisory offering.
You will need a lead on advisory services, which may be you. And depending on your capacity, a team supporting you to fulfil the work. Think about the skills required for this – it could represent an appealing opportunity for staff for personal growth, giving you a recruitment and retention boost. Processes will also have to be developed.
Your client base
Not all of your clients will be receptive to an advisory offering and that’s fine. You can carry on delivering an outstanding compliance-based service to them.
But recent research we conducted, which gathered the responses of hundreds of SME business owners, confirmed accountants as the number one place for seeking advice. So you will have a need amongst your client base, it is a matter of gauging who they are and what they require.
You have probably switched to cloud technology to an extent, especially since the pandemic. But now is the time to truly embrace it. Accounting software, project management tools, the right video conferencing package, file transferring… They will all help you achieve a sense of connection and analytical insight crucial to delivering a good advisory service.
Creating accountancy advisory packages
An equally important part of developing your accountancy advisory services is marketing them. In our experience, offering carefully designed packages is an effective way to sell high value services which can be complicated.
Packages make it much easier for your clients to buy. They save them the hassle of having to piece various services together themselves. They make it easy for clients to understand the price and the value of what you are offering. And they help them compare one package to the next.
There are some interesting techniques you can explore surrounding the pricing and positioning of accountancy advisory services packages. They are based on psychology and help you steer clients towards the optimum package for both them and you. They are used in many other industry sectors too, from software to hospitality.
Enjoy the benefits of expanding your accountancy advisory services
It may be a step out of your comfort zone, but there are so many benefits to riding the wave of technological advancement and developing your accountancy advisory services. You can:
- Increase revenue
- Future-proof your business
- Create a point of differentiation
- Do more interesting work
- Ensure you look after the needs of your clients
- Provide the right growth opportunities to staff
- Aid recruitment and retention
With our specialist sector insight and marketing expertise, we are experienced in helping accountancy firms launch or expand their advisory offerings.
If you would like help in this area, please get in touch.